Nichols Plc - December Trading Update
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(the "Company" or "Group')
Nichols plc, the diversified soft drinks Group, provides the following trading update for the 12 months to 31 December 2020 ("the period").
During the period the Vimto brand achieved strong growth in the UK and the Group's International business continued to perform well. However, as reported by the Group in its trading update on 19 November 2020, this progress was offset by declines in the Group's UK Out of Home ("OoH") route to market, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
In line with the Board's expectations, total Group revenue in the period decreased by 19.3% to £118.7m versus the prior year. The Group expects to report Adjusted Profit Before Tax ("PBT")1 for FY20 in line with its previous guidance.
As anticipated, trading in Q4 remained very challenging in the Group's OoH route to market. Q4 revenues in OoH were 84% lower than those seen in the same period of 2019 as large proportions of the UK entered Tier 3 and Tier 4 restrictions resulting in the closure of outlets.
Cash generation has remained strong through 2020 and despite the financial challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic cash and cash equivalents at the end of the period were £47.3m (31 December 2019: £40.9m).
Whilst recognising the current and near-term impact of the pandemic on the soft drinks market, the Board continues to believe that Nichols, underpinned by the strength of the Vimto brand, the Group's diversified business model and the robust balance sheet, remains well placed to deliver its long-term strategic ambitions.
The Group will publish its 2020 preliminary results on 3 March 2021.